1. Where it all began…

So I guess I should start at the beginning….where all good stories start!

My husband & I have been married for 13 years. For as far back as I can remember, my husband has expressed an interest to emigrate. I was having none of it. Most especially when he suggested “New Zealand”, the very thought of leaving friends and family – and everything I’ve ever known – behind, to move to this place that was so seemingly unknown, and so far, far away, was simply not an option. It was never an idea that I would allow myself to entertain. No. Just, no!

I never understood the need or desire for people to leave South Africa. I thought it was an overreaction to the policies of the time and have generally always had faith that it was a case of things getting worse before they could get better. I felt this way right up until mid-2015… Until one day I looked around me and realised I may be wrong.

While I don’t consider myself a cynical person or a glass half empty type, the reality was that we now had two beautiful children of 7 & 8 years old…and as most parents will understand, their needs became No. 1. since the day they were born. I started to wonder what things would be like for them in 20 years time. When I saw what the future might hold, I decided to take one very tiny, baby step. I told my husband that I was prepared to take a trip: a trip to New Zealand “just to see”, to look for myself what life might be like if we had to consider such a drastic move.

And so in August 2015 we left the children at home with my mother and took a 2 week, meticulously planned journey through New Zealand…



One thought on “1. Where it all began…

  1. Joan says:

    I saw your article on stuff.co.nz , and oh how it resonated with me! Skimmed through your blog and thought wow – this was us 18 or so year ago. My husband had always wanted to emigrate, I didn’t . We had paperwork underway for Australia in 1992 and every day I woke up crying, so we canned the idea. I could not bear to leave my Mum behind in Africa , believing I would never see her again. Well, my Mum died, and by this time we were farming and lived through the sadness of experiencing friend’s son shot dead on his farm . I was terrified one day my husband wouldn’t make it home from the farm alive. So we did what you guys did – the LSD trip – all we needed was for one of us to get a job offer and we would have permanent residence . My husband was an engineering graduate who had farmed for 7yrs . I am a nurse . I got a job in the first week we were here, and they kept it open for 6 months for me whilst we went back to SA to pack up ( we’d already sold our farm – no turning back ! ) . We arrived early January 2001. My husband said the hairs on the back of his neck stood up when we landed at Auckland airport – we had come home. Much has happened since then , and not all of it happy, but we have survived and flourished . My children have grown up and both have graduated – one is working in Wellington, and the youngest has just gradated from Victoria university . Do I regret the move – no way ! Best thing we have ever done !


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